I push against it
challenge it

A warrior intent
on proving
I am…

to flinch

that denial
equals power

Except, it gnaws
at my edges
tears me down
bit by bit

Just as I prepare
to succumb…

…this is invitation

…surrender is a gift

…pain is passage

I let go
absolve myself
of the need….

(Pain first appeared on One Woman’s Quest II in June of 2016.
It has been edited here. Art my own.)

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

25 thoughts on “Pain”

  1. VJ.,
    I’ve chewed my tongue raw with the chronic pain of RA. Your words spoke to that need to split ourselves, to dislocate and distance ourselves from it on an ongoing basis. Vividly penned.

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  2. Synchronicity – thank you VJ for this sharing – catalyst as I prepare notes to take with me Monday to consultation (guessing first of many) about ongoing pain in hip/leg. Accepting this as part of life – as passage into longer life – I can approach the doctor with “management” vs “fix” perspective.

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  3. Your poem and art fit together so well you have me thinking of illustrated poetry as a way to both intensify and clarify. I liked the way you have described the struggle against pain and the sudden awareness and reimagining pain as an invitation. I have also tried the stoic route with a natural aversion to medication until a doctor explained the pain killers are needed so the body can focus on ‘curing’ the disease. On a lighter note, during treatment in hospital, a Dr. Paine was replaced by a Doctor Hope. I took that as a sign…

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